“When better automobiles are built, Buick will build them”. That was the slogan for Buick for half a century. The cornerstone of General Motors was founded by David Buick, and it was purchased by William Durant who turned it into an empire. My 3x Great Uncle founded Adcock Buick here in St Petersburg, so needless to say I have experience with the brand. Between my parents and grandparents, there have always been a few Buicks in the family fleet. The days of the Roadmaster and Riviera are long gone, but a new flagship has emerged.
The LaCrosse has been around since 2005, but it played second fiddle to the Lucerne, which made no sense. GM went back to the drawing board for their latest full-size sedans, and the 2017 LaCrosse is the result. The new E2XX chassis is 300 lbs lighter than the ’16 models and much stronger. While Cadillac’s XTS must make due with Super Epsilon II, Buick gets all the nice advancements. While the first generations were built on the W Body, people could tell it was a Grand Prix with a nicer interior. The new one is something you won’t expect. We spent a week with the new LaCrosse, and it was remarkable.
Remember when GM gave Cadillac a blank check to reinvent themselves? The results were cars like the CTS-V, Escalade Platinum, and the CT6. Without the same fanfare, Buick has been shedding its image of senior citizens and active adult communities. Losing weight was a primary goal, so the FWD LaCrosse is only 3,700 lbs. All-wheel drive is optional, and also redundant. That’s because Buick’s patented HiPer Strut front suspension is like nothing else on the road. We drive the same roads for each car, and the new LaCrosse was as solid and silent as a Tesla. Everything from the oil pan to the antenna was designed to prevent noise.
A new 3.6-liter V6 engine is coupled to a new 8-speed automatic. Once your cruising it transforms into a 4 cylinder to save on fuel. A run to 60 mph takes just over 6 seconds thanks to 310 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque. It’s probably good for a mid-15 second quarter mile, not bad for a full-size sedan. Five-link suspension at all corners and 20″ wheels make for incredible grip and no trace of torque steer. A wide open run will usually reveal harmonics coming from the drivetrain or suspension, but the only sensations were the snappy shifts in manual mode.
The new looks are a sharp departure from bland Buicks of recent years. The big waterfall grille marks a return to the tri-shield with Red/White/Blue colors. Body Panel gaps are better than most German competitors, and it’s nice to not see a resemblance to any other GM model. We tried to find fault with this car, but you really have to look hard. It has all the power you need along with 31 miles per gallon. The absolutely silent highway drive outclasses every other sedan under $100,000. The base price starts at $32,065, and $46,000 will give you everything. The only problem is with the name. It should be an Electra or Invicta. You may think I am insane, but the new LaCrosse is among the best cars on the market. Once you drive it you will agree with us.